Are all people children of God? Think carefully before you answer. When Jesus spoke to the Pharisees in John 8:44 He said, “You are of your father, the devil.” In fact, just a couple of verses earlier He told them “If God were your Father, you would love me…” It seems pretty clear that Jesus did not consider the Pharisees to be children of God.
We are all created by God, loved by God, and sustained by God. The only sense in which we can call everyone a child of God is the unity we share in being human—and in being in Adam. All people came from the same source.
But those who have come to Jesus for salvation have been adopted into the family of God. This adoption is an important part of what we have received in Christ.
…to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:5
We were under the law, condemned and separated from our Lord. We were not of His family because of sin. But in Christ we have received “the adoption” as children of God.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6
What does that mean for us? It means that we have the right to call God “our Father.” It means that the life of Christ in us has brought us into a new and living relationship with the Father. It means that we no longer aspire to be servants, but sons and daughters of the Most High.
Years ago I grumbled against the New International Version because it took the word “sons” (uioi) in a certain verse and translated it as “servants.” I understood that they wanted to include women in the equation, but they should have used the word “children” rather than “servants.” Servants are valued and kept on the basis of performance. Children are valued and kept because of relationship.
You and I have become children of God. He has reached out to us to bring us to Himself. We are at home with Him forever.